A teen is being supported for refusing to apologize after snapping at her polyamorous parents’ partner for trying to discipline her.
The teen, u/AITA_polyparents, shared her story to the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, earning 12,000 upvotes and 1,800 comments in six hours for her post, “[Am I the A**hole] for refusing to apologize to my parents poly partner?”
The original poster (OP) says that her parents came out as polyamorous four years ago, and both have been dating “Maddison” for the last three years. Maddison moved in to their house two years ago, and though the OP describes her as “overall an okay-ish person,” she objects to Maddison’s attempts to be the “cool mom.”
“My parents relationship with Maddison is very serious, both of my families know her and while not everyone accepts her as a ”real” part of their marriage, they’re okay with her too. For me, she’s more like a roommate my parents love rather that a parent figure or someone I have to listen (My dad’s okay with her trying to discipline me, but my mom is not.),” u/AITA_polyparents wrote.
Maddison’s attempt at parenting OP caused trouble recently when OP and her boyfriend were hanging out in the kitchen, chatting and watching videos. When Maddison came home at the time and saw the OP and her boyfriend, she “began to act very weird,” and started watching them while pretending to be on her smartphone.
OP’s boyfriend was uncomfortable having an audience, and took his leave. Once they were alone, Maddison told OP that it was unacceptable to be alone with a boy as a 16-year-old, and she shouldn’t do it again.
“I was honestly shocked, my parents know my boyfriend pretty well and more than that, they know me, and I would never betray their trust by doing something I’m not allowed yet just because I was alone,” she wrote.
While Maddison tried to continue explaining, the OP cut her off to tell her that she wasn’t her parent, and had no right to try to raise her. When Maddison said she was only trying to help, OP said she could talk to her “REAL parents,” and they could raise any issue with her.
“Just because she was dating them both didn’t make her mommy two,” u/AITA_polyparents recalled telling Maddison.
The following day, OP’s dad confronted her. Maddison had talked to both of OP’s parents that evening, and while OP’s mom agreed that Maddison had overstepped, OP’s dad agreed with Maddison, and told her he wanted to know when OP was alone with her boyfriend. He added that he could apologize to Maddison, but said he was “disappointed” when OP refused.
Polyamory is when a person has romantic relationships with multiple people. Sometimes it’s called having an open relationship. Polyamory can take many different forms. Some people, like OP’s parents, form a “throuple,” or a romantic unit where all three people are romantically involved with each other.
In some relationships, a person might have a romantic relationship with another, but have a non-romantic relationship with their partner’s partner. This non-romantic partner’s partner is called a metamour, according to Everyday Feminism.
While like any relationship, polyamory can be tricky, MeetMindful.com says that honesty and boundaries are the most important aspects in making it work. All rules for the relationship, set by all partners, must be laid out clearly—so there’s no gray areas that can cause heartache—and be respected. There should be no secret partners—unless one of the people in the relationship explicitly says they don’t want to be informed of what their partner does with their other partner.
Redditors took the teen’s side.
“[Not the A**hole]your parents decided to be polyamorous, you didn’t decide to be polyparented,” u/Strange-Tip-1897 wrote in the top-rated comment with 24,500 upvotes.
“Not to mention what I call the ‘step parent rule:’ – If they’re not old enough to have given birth to you, they’re not old enough to be a parental figure,” u/arachnobravia added. “Maddison was 11 when OP was born, she has no right to be anything other than an older sister figure. [Not the A**hole] OP, please explain this to your father.”
“You should tell your mom that your dad said that to you. You don’t need to give a heads up that you’re hanging out with your boyfriend in the living room. You can tell that she’s in her 20s from the way she acts, she doesn’t have any understanding that you’re not age 3,” u/plscallmeRain wrote.
“[Not the A**hole] not ok for you to be with your [boyfriend] at 16 but 9 years later it’s ok to move in with a whole a** couple and start trying to tell their hardly younger than you kid what to do?” u/BazTheBaptist wrote.
“[Not the A**hole] don’t apologize. If your parents understand she overstepped why are they making you apologize? Why are they coddling her, a nearly 30 year old woman, but forcing their teenage daughter to step up and be the bigger person? Total BS. She needs to apologize to you,” u/MoldyRadicchio wrote.
Newsweek reached out to u/AITA_polyparents for comment.